So…where do we go from here?
This week’s Office finally delivered the biggest moment of its season (perhaps of the series), but it did so a few weeks early. Michael’s proposal to Holly and the news that the pair is bound for Colorado tied a nice, big bow around Michael’s character development — so convincingly, in fact, that it begs the question: what’s next for Dunder Mifflin?
Here on this side of the screen, we of course know the answer, at least partially. Will Ferrell is set to begin a guest arc, presumably as the hunt for a new regional manager begins. However, back in Scranton, the shocked looks on the faces of Michael’s employees said it all. What will the gang do without their fearless leader?
The “Michael-as-Dad-of-the-office-family” theme that’s dominated this season came to a head when Pam (after catching Michael trying to write his proposal in flames) demanded to be involved in the proceedings. “We’re a family,” she says. “I’ve always felt we should be very involved in each other’s personal lives in a very major way.” Interesting, considering the Pam of seasons past would have cringed at the thought of Michael (or any of her coworkers, for that matter) nosing around her business. Then, later when Michael declares, “We’re going to Colorado,” Kevin asks “All of us?” without missing a beat. It’s meant to be funny, and it is, but it’s also a bittersweet reminder that these characters we’ve seen share a small workspace together for years will finally be parting ways.
The proposal itself was, of course, perfect. Michael walks Holly through the office, noting where he first saw her, where they shared their first kiss, etc. before enlisting the help of his officemates. Each holding a candle, they ask Holly to marry them. She rejects all of them (even Ryan, who Michael was most concerned about) before Michael himself pops the question (in a Yoda voice, of course). Because this is The Office and nothing can go off without a hitch, the flames from the candles set off the building’s sprinklers, and the pair gets drenched, mirroring Jim’s rainy proposal to Pam a few seasons back.
It was no doubt a heartwarming episode; I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a stupid grin plastered across my face during the entire half-hour. The only problem is, it leaves Michael as a lame duck. There were several moments where the episode felt like a season finale (or even a series finale, for that matter), and we can’t help but question whether a post-Michael Scott era at Dunder Mifflin is such a good idea.
-Andy was wearing a pretty awesome pair of maroon pants. Who knew the Nard Dog was such a fashion maven?
-”Michael, you’ve had two ideas today. One was great, and the other was terrible.” “I’m not in the mood for riddles, Pam.”
-Can someone please sell the jars of salsa and pesto with Oscar and Phyllis’ faces on them in real life? Get on it, NBC marketing team!
-Michael’s polite response to Jim and Pam’s engagement story: “That must have been a surprise, when at the gas station you proposed.”
-”This is where Toby told us he was going to Costa Rica. It was the best day of my life, until I met you.”